Baby Boomers and Hep C

Health headlines this past week might have caught many baby boomers off guard. The Centers for Disease Control issued a cautionary warning to all baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) – You should get a onetime test to see if you are infected with the liver destroying virus Hepatitis C.

Here are few facts that prompted the CDC to take action:

  1. Hepatitis C (Hep C) was first identified in 1989.
  2. American deaths related to Hep C-related diseases nearly doubled from 1999-2007.
  3. More than 15,000 American die each year from a Hep C related illness.
  4. Three (3) percent of baby boomers test positive.
  5. Infection is possible from sources other than drug injection or transfusions prior to the blood supply being screened for the virus. These sources may include tattoos, shared razor blades or toothbrushes, piercings, manicures and sniffed cocaine.

One should not assume that those infected have lived carelessly. Remember before 1989 Hep C was an unknown entity. The nation’s blood supply was not screened for Hep C until the early 90’s. Think about how many baby boomers needed a transfusion as a result of childbirth, accidents, surgery or other diseases prior to 1989.

To learn more about the CDC warning, you can watch NBC’s Nightly News recent report:

So take the time to learn about Hep C, share this information with your friends and family. Be proactive…it could save someone’s life.

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